Among mobile notaries is a special group of notaries called ‘Notary Signing Agents’. For the remainder of this article I will refer to them as NSAs. An NSA is firstly a Notary Public to witness signatures and administer oaths where applicable on certain notarizations. Secondly, the NSA duties can be a breath of fresh air for a borrower. In signing my own home loan years ago, I went to a local escrow office. The documents were placed in front of me and I was hard pressed to get many details from the person who watched me sign them. How an NSA differs from many Title or Escrow officers is that an NSA will spend the necessary time with you and at your convenience of time and location.
A loan signing can be a daunting experience for many borrowers. They often have very little knowledge of the process and are not familiar with the documents. Enlisting the services of an NSA can set your mind at ease. A professional, knowledgeable NSA will walk you through the documents. The NSA cannot give you legal advise or opinions about the loan. If you have questions such as what is my interest rate? Did they set up an escrow like I wanted? What is the length or term of the loan? These are questions the NSA can point out the answers to on several documents within the loan package.
When I explain to someone what I do as a profession, I often hear, ‘I wish you would have been around when I signed my loan. They stuck this pile in front of me and told me to sign.’
A good NSA will be certain when they leave the signing with that signed loan package, they have done all they can to find answers to the borrower’s questions and the borrowers are comfortable with what they have just signed.
An NSA has a very hard job. We must stay neutral, so we cannot give opinions or advice, and we cannot act as an advocate for you, the borrower’s part, or on the part of the lender. There are times we may find something unusual and all we can do is point it out and if it seems strange to you, the borrower, you have the option to question it with your lender.
Unfortunately, the lender may give you answers that are biased to their pocketbook. In other words, they may give the answer you want to hear so that you will sign the documents. It may not be true. It is imperative that there is someone who can aid the borrower in making an informed decision. It cannot be the NSA. There is a multitude of information on the internet that may enlighten a borrower of their rights and information regarding the lending process but #1 How many people will actually do the research; and #2 How many know where to look. Places a consumer may look for information include the Consumer Information section at www.HUD.gov.